COVID Fraud Has Become the Perfect Billion Dollar Crime

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Somewhere inside an office at the Republican National Committee headquarters and in offices of other top Republican pollsters, studies are showing Trump will lose to Biden in the next election. The poll results are secret, but they are no surprise.

Trump is erratic, vindictive, immoral, corrupt, venal, and refuses to take advice. These are well-known inherent traits of his personality disorder. They have been evident for decades.

The COVID-19 virus epidemic, his ongoing legal struggles, and his willingness to pardon convicted accomplices, such as Michael Flynn, are all evident in the 3,500 legal cases that involve Trump in federal and state court. As the plaintiff and defendant, Trump has spent his entire adult personal and business life. His attempts to cover up tax evasion and sexual molestation are all part of his personality and criminal past.

We are not all in this together. That is a limp slogan and a convenient political lie.

And this chain he forged throughout his life is now weighing him down. It’s evident and his enablers know it. They see the cumulative impact of his behavior that would have landed anyone else in jail or been fired overnight. The enablers know Trump’s Doomsday is coming, and if the Democrats had a stronger candidate, it would be a certainty.

The polls and daily mounting evidence from jobless reports, terrible economic news that point to a depression on the same level in 1929, COVID deaths, pardons to confessed criminals, chronic lying, presentations of distorted reality, duplicity, and inability to run a government, all point downward. His end is near.

So, given Trump’s history and the combined energy of fanatic conservatives, the end game is now on the table. This end game comes at a reasonable time. Washington is confused, paranoid, and politically unstable, and Congress is staying home, so even they have another excuse for not passing legislation. (Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that 395 bills sitting in the Senate will not be passed.)

The Perfect Crime is Now Unfolding Before Our Eyes

All these moving parts have created the fog to hide massive fraud. Neil Barofsky, the former special inspector general of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), told ABC News that the Paycheck Protection Program will be “an elementary program to defraud, and it will be defrauded in massive ways.”.

How bad can the fraud be? The potential for fraud is vast, and given the amount of money being distributed, a 1% loss to fraud translates into $72 billion in fraud, according to CNBC.

The attraction of record amounts of government money to distribute to favored donors, big contributors, shell corporations, and political cronies cannot be turned away. This is a historic opportunity for looting. And the money is being given to corporations with long histories of violating workers’ rights, CEO pay, the environment, and consumer protections, according to this inclusive chart provided by the group Good Jobs First.

Of course, all this is known to Trump and the Republicans. Trump knows he can funnel huge sums into his presidential campaign and businesses. No one outside professional money launderers is better at hiding this money paper trail than Trump. The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the group identifies 22 areas where Trump has a conflict of interest that would benefit him and his companies. According to the group, “This spans the government, ranging from environmental regulations that impact Trump’s golf courses to work visas that allow his businesses to hire cheaper seasonal workers, to tax cuts that will likely save him millions and even major military decisions that protect his foreign businesses.”

Let the Looting Begin

Willing parties and, most importantly, minimal transparency. The names of corporations and their tax identification numbers have to be hidden. There must also be fewer and fewer inspector generals, with limited budgets and smaller staff. Then there is also the importance of time. Based on past massive federal emergency distributions, the more time passes, the greater the odds of a successful getaway.

All of these conditions are now in place for the looting to begin.

The Federal Reserve said it could invest more than $5 trillion into custom-made lending programs connected to COVID bailout programs aimed at small businesses and publicly traded corporations. There is no accounting for the COVID money distributions at the state levels, where small business owners are supposed to rehire employees, pay them, and keep them on the payroll even as the prospects of reopening businesses degrade with every passing week.

Creating this fog was easy. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and a Trump supporter said the government moved quickly to distribute the money since small businesses immediately needed it. “The more requirements we came up with, the harder it was going to be to get the money out the door. We erred on the side of practicality.” Rubio also erred on the side of fraud, which could benefit him and others in their upcoming re-elections.  After all, now he and other Republicans can say, “We gave you the money to stay open, so you owe us your livelihoods.”

The nation has reached a dangerous point where it must protect the livelihoods of businesses and individuals. However, the impact of the COVID-19 virus will change everything, including our political, social, and financial expectations.

We can also hope that it will change the corrupt and decadent political system, but that is a faint hope given the nation’s history.

But that will not stop the looting and the loss of trillions in taxpayer money. Funds for infrastructure, health care reform, income, social programs, and increases to Medicare and Social Security are all being squandered. The looters will keep the money for themselves. The old saying goes, “possession is 9/10ths of the law.”

This means “We are not all in this together.” That is a limp slogan and a convenient political lie.

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Chuck Epstein has managed marketing communications and public relations departments for major global financial institutions and participated in the launch of industry-changing financial products. He also has written by-lined articles for over 50 publications, five books and served as editor and publisher of nation’s first newsletter on the topic of using the PC for personal investing and trading. (“Investing Online, 1994-1999). He also is a marketing consultant, writer and speaker on topics related to investor protection and opportunities in the very dynamic cannabis industry. He has held senior-level marketing, PR and communications positions at the New York Futures Exchange, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Lind-Waldock, Zacks Investment Research, Russell Investments and Principal Financial. He has won national awards from the Mutual Fund Education Alliance (MFEA) and his web site, www.mutualfundreform.com, was named best small blog in 2009 by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW).

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